The Great Gatsby was the film of 2013, so it’s not surprising that it picked up big at last night’s Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards. The blockbuster behemoth won every category it was eligible for bar one, picking up a total haul of 13 gongs.
The ACCTAs proved to be an evening of Luhrmann, even including a special tribute to the director. To sweeten the deal, Gatsby picked up best film, but also best director, best actor (Leonardo DiCaprio), best supporting actor (Joel Edgerton) and best supporting actress (Elizabeth Debicki), amongst others.
‘It doesn’t happy very often,’ said Luhrmann, on accepting the best director award. ‘It means something when your own country says you did okay – it’s like nothing else.’
The Great Gatsby’s biggest competitor at the awards was the low-budget project of love, The Rocket, which gained an impressive 12 nominations. Made for a fiftieth of the Great Gatsby’s budget, The Rocket is set in Laos and the directorial debut of Kim Mordaunt.
Many in the audience were rooting for DiCaprio’s opponent, 10-year-old former street kid Sitthiphon ‘Ki’ Disamoe, to win against the three-time Oscar nominee. Whilst Leonardo DiCaprio – who hasn’t been in Australia since filming closed on Gatsby – didn’t attend the awards, Luhrmann made a generous acceptance speech on his behalf, giving special mention to Sitthiphon.
‘There was a young actor – not much older than you – and he was nominated for an Oscar he didn’t win,’ said Luhrmann. ‘That young man grew up to be the actor who won this award.’